Botany Manor – Switch Review

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Botany Manor is a delightful single-player casual puzzle game set in 19th-century England. Developed by Devon-based Balloon Studios, it is out now on PC, Xbox (including game pass) and Nintendo Switch. I have had the pleasure of reviewing a copy for the Switch.

Horticulture made fun!

Playing as Arabella Greene, a retired botanist, the game is in first-person and set in the grounds of a beautiful stately home. Do you have what it takes to solve puzzles, grow plants, and reveal more about your life and career?

screenshot showing a brown plaque on the brick wall. Written on it in gold writing is "Botany Manor, Home of the Greene Family"
Home sweet home!


You begin the game in a typical old-fashioned English greenhouse, surrounded by windows, low brick walls, gardening paraphernalia and items to interact with.

The controls are a simple twin-stick operation that you would expect to find with a first-person-style game. You navigate through the eyes of Arabella as you search for clues about your past and who you are. The controller buttons allow you to bring up your book about Forgotten Flora and this becomes your guide when solving mysteries surrounding how to grow plants.

screenshot showing a white manor house that looks similar to a small castle. In the front is a round blue pond with a white fountain. Surrounding it is a gravel path, green hedges and various plants and trees. It is all colourful and summery.
The surroundings are calming and tranquil as you investigate the manor.

Botany Manor is split into 5 chapters, with each chapter requiring you to discover and grow certain fantastical plants. The premise is simple. Find the relevant seed bag, and place a pot onto a plate. Fill with soil, add seed and water. The mystery is what then actually aids the growth of the plant and this is where your puzzle-solving skills kick in.

Sleuthing skills

By reading cards and letters found across the manor, digesting snippets of articles, and reviewing photos; you slowly build up your clues for growing each plant. I found the first few chapters relatively easy and I would say that anyone that has ever played a point-and-click style puzzle game where pieces of information are scattered about will find sanctuary here.

screenshot showing a red flowered plant that has grown in a brown clay pot. It sits on a brown workbench within a large greenhouse that has a tile floors.
Puzzle-solving is very rewarding when you see the plant grow.

The clues you find are collected in your book; but only in shorthand along with the location within the house or garden where you found them. It is then down to you to match each clue up with each plant. With the information you have found you can grow the plant by taking the seed pot to the correct place and carrying out the necessary task. I won’t spoil any of the puzzles however some do make you think. I found the whole experience rewarding and later on in the chapters the plants certainly get harder to grow.

Once you have grown the plants found within your chapter and correctly placed the clues on each page, you can progress to the next chapter. Bit by bit the house and gardens unlock more and more, giving you a bountiful of further rooms and spaces to investigate.

screenshot showing 4 log piles within an outdoor wooden structure. There is oak, maple, cherry and birch logs to choose from.
Which wood shall I use?

The casualness of Botany Manor is really relaxing. For someone who loves fast-paced shooter games, I was astonished at how I got on. It was the complete opposite of what I usually play. There are so many chairs you can sit in and just take in the view. It was lovely playing without a timer or point-based objective hurrying you up.

Graphics & Audio

The graphics in Botany Manor are vibrant and almost mimic a 19th-century watercolour in terms of style. There is some clever framing at times such as looking through a window in a wall provides a fabulous view of the manor.

screenshot showing a view through a porthole within the brick garden wall. The framed view is of the manor house.
This really caught my eye as I walked past.

The animations are smooth with no stuttering experienced. I particularly enjoyed the butterflies that cluster around in places within the garden. Its sunny, the sky is blue, the grass is green and everything is out in bloom. It really is tranquillity. Hats off to the graphics team at Balloon Studios.

The background soundtrack is calm and inviting. The sound of the birds chirping and the breeze gently blowing accompanies your journey in the garden. A whimsical ambience surrounds you while studying Victorian contraptions and heightens your experience of adventure.

screenshot showing a pipe puzzle on a green wall within a bathroom. The water pipes need the missing pieces inserted into the correct spaces.
Some puzzles are fairly simple, but they are only 1 step in a sequence.


At the time of writing, I am at chapter 5. So far I have spent a good 5 hours getting here, therefore I would assume perhaps 8 hours in total to complete the Botany Manor. There are no collectibles to find therefore once you have completed the story it is a case of either starting over or just simply chilling out while sipping a cup of tea in the garden.

screenshot showing some old fashioned metal cantilever scales in a pantry. Beside it are a load of various brown weights. In the background is a large shelving unit with various pots and pans stacked on it.
Weight a moment….weight….get it? I’ll get my coat.

Final Thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised by Botany Manor. At the end of a tiring day at work, I looked forward to an hour of exploring the Manor house. It is such a beautiful game with really clever puzzles to solve. The reward of growing a plant and progressing the story felt like a massive achievement.

With nowhere to write notes, Botany Manor tests your powers of recall. Having the hint of where a clue was found within your book is great and it also means that you will be making several return journeys!

Can you finish your book on Forgotten Flora? Go and find out!

Botany Manor gets the Thumb Culture Platinum Award!

Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.

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